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Lifestyle

I Have Nothing Exciting To Tell You.

I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.

My family doesn’t go anywhere.

The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!

And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.

I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything. 

My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.

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Tips for Being a Great Ally to Your Muslim Co-workers/Friends During Ramadan

The beauty of our great province of Alberta is most evident in the diversity and uniqueness of Albertans. Albertans come from all corners of the Earth. They come from different cultural and religious backgrounds.

On April 13th, over 115,000 Muslim Albertans will be observing the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is a month of heightened spirituality which includes prayer, reading Qur’an, fasting, and giving charity. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dusk to dawn. A total of about 19 hours. This means Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, intimacy, and worldly desires during those hours.  Also, Muslims are expected to control their tempers and behaviors.

If you want to be a good Ally, Ramadan is a great time to start.  As you can imagine, fasting such long hours can take a toll on your co-workers. Although they will do their best to maintain their work, their energy, and their friendly personality they may need a little support from you. So how can you support your Muslim Coworkers? Here are some pointers to help you out.

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In Calgary, Camping, Explore, Rocky Mountains on
April 9, 2021

Did You Know You Can Hike To a Cold War Bunker in Alberta?

Cold War Bunker Hike in Canmore Alberta

Hiking with kids is always… interesting. I find that if I can entice mine with an end goal to hike to they do MUCH better. Usually we try to find a hike with water (lakes, rivers, waterfalls, etc) to get to but this time we wanted something different so we tried the Cold War Bunker Hike just East of Canmore.

When you tell the kids there is an old abandoned cave to explore at the end of the hike they move FAST!

Apparently this was built during the Cold War to house important documents for the Canadian Government in case of disaster. Construction for this project started in 1969 but ended before it was completed. At this time we can’t find any information on why they stopped construction.

The caves go further back than we expected so we highly recommend bringing a couple of flashlights to explore. We used our cell phone lights but having flashlights would have been better.

This trail is easy to do and can be done in all seasons. It is a 4km hike with slight elevation at the end but I would say it is a relatively easy hike for most families. You can see more details on the hike on AllTrails here.

To get to the trailhead:

  • Park in the Heart Creek Trail parking lot.
  • There are two parking areas once you turn off the highway. Park in the West one.
  • At the far West side of the parking lot you’ll see a sign about bears. You found the trail!

 

Growing a baby (and a Festival) in a pandemic

In June 2020, I found myself pregnant with my second child. I rolled my eyes at becoming a part of the now famous “Covid-baby club.” It’s a popular club for a reason and I was now a happy member. We had just recently and successfully hosted our 8th annual SkirtsAfire Festival in March, about a week before the lockdowns began. I remember enjoying the spring and the start of summer, feeling optimistic that in a month or two, things would return to normal and we would all get back to our festival city as planned. Then slowly but surely, things started getting postponed, then canceled, and our case numbers took a sharp turn for the worse. Through it all, as I grew this baby mostly isolated to my home, we planned for SkirtsAfire 2021: a return to indoor in-person performances in a safe way.

Having a baby in a pandemic is different. This baby will be welcomed into the world with masks and the strong scent of hand sanitizer and the rough touch of overly-washed chapped hands. No gatherings of friends and family to hold and kiss the fresh being that just entered the world. Instead, there will be more screen time than I’d like to admit my newborn will have, more time spent with me on my phone texting and emailing pictures and updates, more time spent alone, just our small family. I think of my friends who have had babies in 2020 who have no family in the city, most out of the country even, who have had no relatives allowed to visit and have no known date in the future they’ll get to meet the new addition. My sisters live in Hong Kong and I don’t know when they will get to meet their new nephew. Things I never thought I’d need to feel sad about before.

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In Edmonton, Events, Health, Style on
February 19, 2021

SkirtsAfire REIMAGINED #YEG + {Discount code}

SkirtsAfire in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse and daring”. Things are a little different this year, but it will still be 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!

We have taken in their 2017 through 2020 MainStage Productions as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. This year they will be bringing the heart of SkirtsAfire into your home! Check out SkirtsAfire’s engaging online content as well as outdoor offerings, where you can expect a covid-safe trip around Old Strathcona experiencing art, design, and music.

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Adventure: Renting an Ice Fishing Shack in Alberta

Ice Fishing Gull Lake

You may be getting real sick and tired of staring at your family at home by this point of Covid Winter in Alberta… The struggle is real and movie nights are getting old. We decided to mix it up a bit and try ice fishing! Last year my kiddo and I went ice fishing with my brother and let me tell you, my then 7 year old thought it was the coolest thing! He has been begging to do it again, but with Covid restrictions and not having the proper equipment ourselves, we just hadn’t been able.

Then I got the idea of renting an ice fishing shack from an ad I scrolled past one day on Instagram. Perfect!

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In Lifestyle, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
February 6, 2021

Hibernate and Chill

Hey Alberta, it’s flipping COLD! And with COVID there is no escaping the frigid temperatures so I need to come clean.

I’ve become a binger. There is nothing I like better than escaping into someone else’s made up, or in the case of reality TV, escalated DRAMA. I thought I would share with you what I have been enjoying and maybe, you’d like to share as well!

By myself mindless escape

Bridgerton – I’m a crazy fanatic for the age this is set in. With the music and the naughty bits, it’s just divine. I’ve heard people say it didn’t live up to their expectations – so, go into it with only escape in mind.

Selling Sunset – I might have a small girl crush on Chrishell. It’s like a mix of the best real estate shows you’ve watched with the drama of Housewives.

Emily In Paris – Again, not the most titillating of story twists, but hey, it’s in PARIS.

Bling Empire – Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? This one is just fun!

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In Lifestyle, Random Thoughts on
February 4, 2021

The year we did a lot less

I wondered if it was worth writing about a year with COVID-19. It has taken over our lives and has dictated our activities. I’ve also thought about how different we are from the start of the pandemic in 2020.  The uncertainty and nervousness from March 2020, to now – freezing in Alberta February, 2021.  Almost a year later from our initial lockdown and still no parties, sleepovers, no kids sports, no boozy girl nights (we could gather outside but -25 isn’t my jam).

The global pandemic didn’t stop our life, but it was the year we did a LOT less.

Fewer gathering, fewer people, fewer parties, and instead of the big family reunion this summer, we did day trips in Alberta. More family time, more time alone, more time realizing I’m a terrible baker. More gardening, more time in a hammock. More ordering in from restaurants and giving into buying from Amazon.

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5 Winter Activities to Get Kids Outside

Author: Kirsten Clark 

It’s January in Alberta, which means peak season for staying indoors watching movies, reading books, and cooking delicious recipes. But getting outside is still important, even in the middle of winter. After all, who doesn’t feel better after some fresh air and sunshine? This roundup of five winter activities for kids will give you some inspiration to get your family outside!

1. Frozen Sun Catchers from Take Them Outside

“Do you need extra motivation to get outside when the temperature drops below freezing?  Perhaps this craft will be just the thing to get you and your kids outside.”

2. Ice Lanterns from Little Pine Learners

“Try making beautiful ice lanterns. Freeze them during the day and illuminate them at night! You can make a single lantern or a bunch of them at one time.”

3. Easy Snow Painting from Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

“My kids LOVE playing in the snow but when we add color to all that beautiful white ice outside it really adds a creative element to their sensory play! This post will take you step by step on how to easily make your own kid’s snow painting art recipe!”

4. Snow Volcano Experiment from Growing a Jeweled Rose

“Making a snow volcano is really easy . . . Make sure you have lots of baking soda and vinegar on hand, because your kids will want to make their volcano erupt again & again!”

5. Freezing Bubbles from No Stress Homeschooling

“Have you ever experienced -33C weather? Its fantastic! Now before you think I am crazy, I will explain and show you our impromptu freezing bubbles winter activities.”

Kirsten Clark is a college instructor and academic strategist, a writer, a reader, a runner, a podcast junkie, and, most importantly, a mom.  Kirsten lives in Beaverlodge with her husband and son, a curious and energetic toddler, who keeps his parents on their toes! Connect with her on Instagram @kirstenlanae and at thefaucet.net, where she blogs every Monday, no matter what. 
In Recipe on
January 15, 2021

Bacon Skor Cookies with Chocolate

Bacon Skor Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

I’m just going to get right to the point with this one because there is nothing worse than clicking on a recipe link and having to read through 7 paragraphs about how you organize your kitchen and are using new spoons now and then oh ya and here is the tiny little recipe at the very bottom. We know you’re here for the chocolate and bacon.

The Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10 oz skor bits
  • 1/2 cup bacon chopped finely
  • Chocolate chips or baking chocolate to drizzle over
  1. Cream sugar and butter together in an electric mixer.
  2. Add vanilla and eggs and whip together on medium high speed for at least 5 minutes. It seems long but spending the time now to fully whip together these ingredients will make for a softer, fluffier, and chewier cookie.
  3. In a separate bowl add all dry ingredients including skor bits and bacon. If you choose to add chocolate chips instead of drizzling chocolate at the end (saves some time!) add these now as well.
  4. Mix until just blended. DO NOT OVER MIX THIS PART.
  5. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or less. The less you cook them the chewier they get.
  6. Drizzle chocolate over top.
  7. Hide half of them in a container so the kids can’t find and eat them all. Parenting during a pandemic is hard. You deserve to have cookies you don’t have to share.

 

Bacon Skor Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle